Leishman at ease in BMW driver’s seat

Boston Herald - - SPORTS -

As much as Marc Leishman has been through, es­pe­cially off the golf course, it takes a lot to get un­der his skin. He tells his wife that even af­ter a par­tic­u­larly bad round, give him 10 min­utes and he’ll be fine.

His last tour­na­ment, when Leishman lost a 2-shot lead on the back nine at the TPC Bos­ton, was an ex­cep­tion.

“That one prob­a­bly took a day,” he said. “It stung a bit.”

Yes­ter­day at the BMW Cham­pi­onship brought Leishman on the verge of re­demp­tion.

Leishman got up-and-down from a tough lie be­hind the 18th green for one last birdie that gave him a 3-un­der-par 68 and ex­tended his lead to 5 shots over Ja­son Day and Rickie Fowler go­ing into the fi­nal round at Con­way Farms in Lake For­est, Ill.

Leishman, who was at 19-un­der 194, gets an­other chance to win a FedEx Cup play­off event and grab one of the top five seeds at the Tour Cham­pi­onship next week. The top seeds have a clear path to claim the $10 mil­lion bonus.

And this op­por­tu­nity is much bet­ter than two weeks ago.

Leishman shared the 54-hole lead at the Dell Tech­nolo­gies Cham­pi­onship TPC Bos­ton with Justin Thomas, who surged past Leishman and held off Jor­dan Spi­eth. This time, no one could make a run at him on a warm day with a steady wind that made con­di­tions faster and more dif­fi­cult.

Fowler rolled in a 25-foot ea­gle putt from just short of the green on the opening hole, and made only one birdie the rest of the way. He missed putts from the 6-foot range on con­sec­u­tive holes on the back nine, one of them for birdie, and couldn’t make birdie with an iron in his hand for his sec­ond shot on the par-5 18th.

Day pulled within 2 shots with a birdie at the turn, but played the back nine with eight pars and a bo­gey. Fowler and Day each shot 70.

The top 30 in the FedEx Cup ad­vance to next week’s Tour Cham­pi­onship, where all have a math­e­mat­i­cal chance at the $10 mil­lion bonus.

Ju­tanu­garn eyes his­tory

Moriya Ju­tanu­garn shot 3-un­der 68 to lead the Evian Cham­pi­onship sec­ond round, and could join her younger sis­ter Ariya in golf’s record book.

Seek­ing to be the first sis­ters to win a ma­jor ti­tle, Moriya’s 9-un­der to­tal left her 1 shot ahead of Ayako Ue­hara, who had seven birdies in her round of 66 in Evian-Les-Bains, France.

Vic­tory for Moriya — who has a ca­reer-best fin­ish of 10th at a ma­jor — would make the Ju­tanu­garns the first sis­ters to win a ma­jor since the U.S. LPGA Tour was founded 67 years ago.

McKen­zie even bet­ter

David McKen­zie birdied the fi­nal six even-num­bered holes for a 7-un­der 64 and a share of the lead with Jerry Smith in the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons’ Pa­cific Links Bear Moun­tain Cham­pi­onship in Vic­to­ria, Bri­tish Columbia.

McKen­zie, the 50-year-old Aus­tralian who Tuesday qual­i­fied to get in the field, be­gan the unique run on the par-4 eighth and added birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 to match Smith at 12-un­der 130 on Bear Moun­tain’s Moun­tain Course . . . .

Ki­radech Aphibarn­rat birdied his last hole to card 5-un­der 66 and take the lead af­ter the third round of the KLM Open in Spijk, Nether­lands.

AP PHOTO

IN THE SWING: Marc Leishman watches his tee shot on the 17th hole dur­ing yes­ter­day’s third round of the BMW Cham­pi­onship at Con­way Farms Golf Club in Lake For­est, Ill.

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